Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday said that youths of Azamgarh had to hide their identities due to narrow-minded divisive forces.
The apparent reference was to the terror tag attached to the district in the past. Some of the accused involved in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts and Delhi's Batla House encounter hailed from this area.
Adityanath was in Azamgarh for the first time after winning the parliamentary bypolls, from the seat vacated by Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, to launch 50 development projects worth about Rs 145 crores.
"Due to rajnitik sankirnta (political narrow-mindedness) their talent became a victim of the divisive forces in the national arena. This created an identity crisis among the youth of Azamgarh," the chief minister said.
"I am here to thank you all for ensuring the victory of your MP (Dinesh Lal Yadav alias Nirahua). I am indebted to you and I have come here to launch 50 developmental projects for you," Adityanath said.
While attacking previous regimes and holding them responsible for the sorry state of affairs in the area, he said, "Remember, five years ago, the youth of Azamgarh had to hide their identities when they went out of the state. The reason was that if they disclosed their identity, they did not get room to stay in hotels and dharamshalas, no one was ready to give them room on rent in their localities. Just think what the person who left his place for a job must have felt.
He said the perception of people changed after the BJP formed a government in the state. "Even when you, people of Azamgarh, did not have BJP MLAs and MP," the government ensured development here.
The chief minister said Purvanchal expressway, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November last year, had connected people of Azamgarh with Lucknow and Delhi.
Without naming anyone, he said, "For years there was a demand that a university should be established in Azamgarh. Earlier many people came to Azamgarh but the university was also given to Azamgarh by the 'double engine' government. The university is being built on a war footing in the name of Maharaja Suheldev and Rs 108 crore has been earmarked for it."
Announcing the establishment of a new research chair in Suheldev University in the name of famous Hindi litterateur Rangey Raghav, the chief minister said, "Azamgarh has been the land of litterateurs. The works of famous litterateur Rangey Raghav give a new direction to all of us here."
The chief minister asked people's representatives to organise rozgar mela (employment fair) in Azamgarh so that youths get appointment letters and said that in the past five years jobs were provided to five lakh people without any discrimination.
He asked officers to generate employment opportunities for youths to change the image of the district.
He said the district administration should send a proposal for establishment of a paramedical institute in the medical college and suggested that as the people elected a Bhojpuri singer from here, some work in the area of arts should also be done.
In March, while addressing elections rallies at various assembly segments of the district, the chief minister had said that Azamgarh had become a "home of terror and criminals" during the SP government.